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Construction to Begin on West 71st & N College Bikeway

71st Street Bike Lane (image credit: Indy DPW)

71st Street Bike Lane (image credit: Indy DPW)

The 2013 construction season is well underway and I have recently reported on two exciting cycling projects that are underway which will significantly increase the amount of nice cycling facilities with the Fall Creek Trail Extension and the Illinois Street Buffered Bike Lane.

62nd Street Trail (image credit: Curt Ailes)

62nd Street Trail (image credit: Curt Ailes)

They are however, not the only interesting projects going on around town which will increase the amount of safe bikeways for Indianapolis residents. The Board of Public Works recently awarded a contract for Phase 2 of the 71st street Bike Lane Project. Phase 2 is comprised of the W 71st St Bikeway and the N College Avenue bikeway, both off-street trails that will resemble the recently completed 62nd Street Bikeway (which I covered extensively last year)

The plan originally proposed by DPW will construct bike lanes on 71st street across a large portion of the county, and book-end them with dedicated off-street trails at both ends. The west end will connect to the Eagle Creek Trail providing bicycle access to Eagle Creek Park while the east end will meet at College Avenue where a bikeway will travel along the east side of College Ave all the way to 75th street, providing almost direct access to the Monon Trail via a short bike lane on 75th.

The project, taken as a whole, will provide a much higher level of cyclist visibility to drivers and a much safer ride for cyclists in what is a mostly suburban climate. Will the investment result in a higher level of cycling activity? While there are not a significant amount of destinations along 71st street from a commercial perspective, there are a large amount of suburban neighborhoods and thus a lot of opportunity to draw people out of their autos for trips. Perhaps Park 100 with it’s large amount of jobs, will be a benefactor of the increased cycling access provided by this project.

According to DPW spokeswoman Lesley Gordon, construction is schedule to wrap up by November of this year on both trails. As we have done for many other recent cycling projects, we will keep you updated as construction moves forward with yet another new cycling project here in Indy!

8 Responses to “ “Construction to Begin on West 71st & N College Bikeway”

  1. Jon Brewer says:

    Actually, this could be very beneficial for those that live in the Broad Ripple/Meridian/Tarkington areas that want to get to Eagle Creek via bike. Currently, I take Kessler west to 56th, which is a mish-mash of a steep hill, bike lanes, and dangerous 4-lane roads.

    Going north would still be uphill for the first portion, but over a much longer span, making it easier for the non-lycra, everyday cyclist. Additionally, 71st/73rd/Westlane is a quieter road with a long-established bike lane that cars are already familiar with.

    While it’s a bit longer, I think it might be the safer route into Eagle Creek at the moment.

  2. Mike says:

    I wish the trail went all the way up College to 96th St. to connect to the trail already developed in Carmel along College Ave.

  3. Brandon says:

    Thank you for the edited photo. I really appreciate the photography.

  4. brian says:

    they have been busy on College Av. The utilities are marked, the surveyors were out this week and the streets are marked for the construction signs. Cant wait for this to be done

  5. brian says:

    This weeks progress: the right northbound lane has been cut. Previously right lane right turn only signs have been placed south of 71st.

    Are there electronic copies of the design for this project available?

    From what I see on the street, it appears the right northbound land will terminate at 71st and the trail will take up some or all of this from 71st to Marrot Park. Then it will go where there is currently grass between the road and park to 75th. Best of all it eliminates the lane merge on northbound College between Nottingham Ct and 73rd.

    • Curt Ailes says:

      Brian, what I have seen, the entire trail will be contained on the east side of College Ave. Think, 62nd street multi use trail. No striping to divide the two sides, but wide enough to comfortably contain all of it.

      I have seen the engineering plans in bid-format and they are tedious to assemble, but the entire trail is contained on the east side. There are some lane marking changes, but would take time to assemble it all into a map.

      • brian says:

        Thanks Curtis

        Yes the trail will be all on the east side of College. My post was unclear. It appears the eastern lane of College will be removed and replaced by trail from 71st to 73rd/Marrott Park. Then it will use the area of the park that is in the right of way.

        Also for anyone interested, I live in the neighborhood east of college. We have wanted pedestrian infrastructure on our side for years but the drainage ditch was an issue.

        BTW excavation equipment appeared yesterday.

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